Jones told “Fox News Primetime” he was incensed by Blinken’s comments where he espoused a message of future trust in the Taliban-controlled Afghan government, as well as McKenzie praising the cooperation between the U.S. and the Taliban:
“If we can work with a new Afghan government in a way that helped secure those interests… and in a way that brings greater stability to the country and region and protects the gains of the past two decades, we will do it,” Blinken said earlier Monday.
“But we will not do it on the basis of trust or faith. Every step we take will be based not on what a Taliban like government says, but what it does to live up to its commitments. The Taliban seeks international legitimacy and support. Our message is, any legitimacy and any support will have to be earned,” the secretary continued.
In response, Jones said he first and foremost sends prayers to Gold Star families and veterans of the war, adding that he would offer them any support necessary in the future.
However, he said he couldn’t confirm to those families that the mission they enlisted to execute was accomplished or properly attempted.
“I don’t trust politicians or trust this type of diplomacy any further than can I throw it – and a guy with no legs can’t throw real far,” said Jones, a double-amputee.
“I will tell you I believe in the men and women I served with I believe in the pureness of our intent: And when the secretary of state stands up there and tells me that the people who killed my brothers and took my legs can earn our trust? Well, thank God this is television news and not just a casual conversation because I would have words for him nobody wants to hear.”
Jones explained that blood is essentially an international “currency” – the “easiest to acquire… [but] the interest on that lasts a lifetime – and that because it was so freely offered up over the last 20 years, Americans should hold their politicians to account when they commit to a new war.
“They were actually very helpful and useful to us as we closed down operations,” Marine Corps general, who has commanded the Tampa-based CENT since 2019, said in a Monday press conference
When asked for response, Jones paused before reacting:
“That’s tough,” he said. “I don’t know that man. As far as I know, I didn’t serve under his command.”
“I don’t know what political pressures are on his shoulders, but I know what it means to be a Marine,” Jones added, noting he and McKenzie served in the same branch. “I know what it means to bleed with men and women, and to hold their hand when they’re taking their last breath and to do everything I can, everything in me. If it means walking down and lean everything a bomb and taking a damn good guess to keep them alive even if that means I get blown into pieces that’s OK.”
He continued, “Even if it’s some partisan war, if it can keep our enemy at bay one more day that’s worth it – and how dare you think that you can lead troops, and stand up there and speak glowingly about the people have tried to kill us for 20 years. Just how dare you do that?”
Jones added that Gen. McKenzie’s comments praising the Taliban were a “betrayal” to those who served.